Potassium citrate

Potassium citrate
ATC Code A12BA02
Formula K3C6H5O7
Molar Mass (g·mol−1) 306.395
Physical State solid
Density (g·cm−3) 1.98
Melting Point (°C) 180
Boiling Point (°C) 230
PKS Value 8.5
CAS Number 866-84-2
PUB Number 13344
Drugbank ID DB09125
Solubility soluble in water


Potassium citrate (also known as tripotassium citrate) is the potassium salt of citric acid. It is a white, hygroscopic, crystalline powder. It is odorless and has a salty taste. Medically, it can be used to control kidney stones, which consist of uric acid or cystine.



Potassium citrate causes changes in the composition of urine, making it less prone to the formation of crystals and stones from salts such as calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid. Increased levels of citrate in urine lead to complexation with calcium, reducing the activity of calcium ions and the likelihood of calcium phosphate crystal formation. Citrate also inhibits spontaneous crystallization of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate.


Potassium citrate is rapidly absorbed after oral administration and excreted in the urine.


Side effects

Mild side effects may occur after taking potassium citrate.

These include:

  • mild nausea or stomach upset
  • mild or occasional diarrhea

Contraindications and precautions

A doctor should be contacted and use of potassium citrate should be stopped immediately if the following reactions occur:

  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • irregular heartbeat
  • extreme thirst and increased urination
  • discomfort in the legs
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness or tingling sensation in your hands or feet or around your mouth
  • severe stomach pain
  • persistent diarrhea or vomiting
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter ist Autor zu pharmazeutischen Themen in der Medizin-Redaktion von Medikamio. Er befindet sich im letzten Semester seines Pharmaziestudiums an der Universität Wien und liebt das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten im Bereich der Naturwissenschaften.

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Stefanie Lehenauer ist seit 2020 freie Autorin bei Medikamio und studierte Pharmazie an der Universität Wien. Sie arbeitet als Apothekerin in Wien und ihre Leidenschaft sind pflanzliche Arzneimittel und deren Wirkung.

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